In a letter sent to Chief Judge T.J. Crabtree, our union has asked Provincial Court judges to call on the province to hire and train more deputy sheriffs. This is the only way the serious shortage of deputy sheriffs can be fixed.
The current practice of forcing sheriffs to work overtime is not working and is unsustainable. The shortage is compromising courthouse security, delaying important proceedings, and is threatening the integrity of our justice system.
Many in the legal community have already criticized the provincial government for inadequately funding the justice system. We hope the Provincial Court judges will join with us and call on the government to hire and train more deputy sheriffs before the situation deteriorates any further.
Low recruitment and retention is also contributing to the sheriff shortage as trained, experienced sheriffs leave for higher paid jobs in law enforcement. To fully address the sheriff shortage, the province needs to increase wages to levels in other law enforcement agencies and jurisdictions.
BCGEU vice president – Corrections and Sheriff Services – Component 1
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